Catholic Education Western Australia’s Virtual Schools Network (ViSN) was recently honored by the United States Distance Learning Association (USDLA) with the world’s most prestigious distance learning award for innovation.
Presented on May 23 at the 2019 National Conference in Nashville, Tennesee, the international awards are bestowed annually to organisations and individuals engaged in the development and delivery of distance learning programs.
CEWA Virtual School Program Manager Meredith Roe said she was humbled and excited for ViSN to win the award.
“A lot of work has gone into creating a network that not only provides unprecedented access to courses for our students, but also one that uses best practice technology to ensure sustainability and room for growth going into the future,” Ms Roe said.
ViSN is the only distance learning program in the world that does not use an LMS (Learning Management System).
“Without the functionality constraints of an LMS, we are able to help teachers to use the 0365 tools to develop strong connections to their students” Ms Roe said.
“In turn, this helps students avoid a sense of isolation – a significant issue in K-12 online learning.”
Commencing 2018, ViSN’s network of CEWA schools work together to develop and deliver a range of online courses for years 11 and 12 to be accessed by students at CEWA schools and colleges across the State.
Teachers are supported to create a course that reflects best practice for online delivery and are involved in face-to-face and online training as well as on-going professional learning.
The USDLA Awards were created to acknowledge major accomplishments in distance learning and to highlight those distance learning instructors, programs, and professionals who have achieved and demonstrated extraordinary results through the use of online, videoconferencing, satellite and blended learning delivery technologies.
USDLA Executive Director Dr Reggie Smith III said ViSN had raised the bar of excellence.
“As a premier organisation for the entire distance learning profession, we are honoring Catholic Education Western Australia as a leader in the industry,” he said.
Chair of USDLA Board of Directors Pat Cassella said this year’s award winners represented many of the most innovative leaders in the field of distance learning.